Sabres fall in Washington, 6-1 to Capitals

Buffalo allows four goals in a 4:27 span of the first period

Kyle Powell
November 01, 2019 - 7:11 pm

Photo: Geoff Burke - USA TODAY Sports


All it took was a crushing 4:27 span of the first period on Friday, in which the Buffalo Sabres allowed four goals in a 6-1 loss to the Washington Capitals at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.

Buffalo's only goal of the night came off the stick of defenseman Henri Jokiharju, who scored his first NHL goal in the second period. Linus Ullmark was tested in goal throughout the night for the Sabres, and ended the night with 28 saves on 34 shots faced.

The scoring started just over six-minutes into the opening period when Washington forward Jakub Vrana got loose for a breakaway and beat Ullmark five-hole to make it 1-0. Vrana was sprung free by linemate Tom Wilson after Sabres captain Jack Eichel turned the puck over just inside the Washington blue line. 

The home side doubled its lead to 2-0 just 42-seconds later as forward Chandler Stephenson capped off a 4-on-1 rush into the Buffalo zone. Stephenson was on the finishing end of a nice tic-tac-toe passing play with forwards Travis Boyd and Brandon Leipsic.

Two-and-a-half minutes after Stephenson's tally, it was Vrana striking again for his second of the night to make it a 3-0 Washington lead. Vrana was left wide-open off to the left of Ullmark in the faceoff circle, and one-timed a pass from defenseman Michal Kempny past the blocker side.

Shortly after the midway marker of the first period, Washington racked up their fourth goal in rapid succession as Leipsic did the damage with his first goal of the season. After Boyd made a nice move to get Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin off balance and eventually on the ice, he drew the attention of a couple of Buffalo defenders, which left Leipsic open to the left of Ullmark.

The Capitals ended up doing all their damage from the 6:17 mark to the 10:44 mark of the first period.

Ullmark ended up allowing four goals on just 11 shots in the opening 20-minutes of play, while Capitals netminder Braden Holtby stopped all 16 shots sent his way.

The second period had much less action in comparison to the first.

Buffalo was finally able to scratch the scoreboard just past the halfway part of the second period as Jokiharju was the beneficiary of some puck luck in front of the Washington net. His shot from the point ended up going off the back side of Capitals defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler and in past Holtby. Rasmus Dahlin and Evan Rodrigues were credited with the assists on Jokiharju's goal.

Washington extended their lead back to four goals with just over three minutes left in the middle stanza as forward Tom Wilson was able to get a piece of a Kempny shot following a failed clearing attempt by Dahlin. 

The Sabres ended up out-shooting the Capitals in the second period and held the advantage through 40 minutes, but the scoreboard told a different story with Washington holding on to the 5-1 advantage.

The Capitals poured it on the Sabres in the third period with 15 shots on goal compared to Buffalo's five shot.

Washington capped off the scoring with 6:17 left in the third, as forward T.J. Oshie was able to tap in a nice pass from Kempny past Ullmark for his eighth goal of the season.

The loss dropped the Sabres' record to 9-3-2 through 14 games this season, and paired with their shootout loss to the Arizona Coyotes on Monday, Friday's defeat marked the first time this season that Buffalo dropped consecutive decisions.




Goal Summary:

First Period:

WSH: 6:17 - Jakub Vrana (5) (Tom Wilson); 6:59 - Chandler Stephenson (2) (Travis Boyd, Brendan Leipsic); 9:29 - Jakub Vrana (6) (Michal Kempny, Tom Wilson); 10:44 - Brendan Leipsic (Travis Boyd, Radko Gudas)

Second Period:

BUF: 10:40 - Henri Jokiharju (1) (Rasmus Dahlin)
WSH: 16:53 - Tom Wilson (5) (Michal Kempny)

Third Period:

WSH: 13:43 - T.J. Oshie (Michal Kempny, Alex Ovechkin)


Penalty Summary:

First Period:

WSH: 2:42 - Dmitry Orlov (Elbowing - 2 min.)

Second Period:


Third Period:

BUF: 18:24 - Johan Larsson (Slashing - 2 min.)
WSH: 11:10 - Dmitry Orlov (Tripping - 2 min.)


Shots on Goal:

BUF: 30 (16, 9, 5)
WSH: 34 (11, 8, 15)


BUF: Linus Ullmark - 28 saves
WSH: Braden Holtby - 29 saves

Power Plays:

BUF: 0 for 2 (0%)
WSH: 0 for 1 (0%)

Three Stars:

  1. Jakub Vrana - WSH
  2. Tom Wilson - WSH
  3. Brendan Leipsic - WSH

What's Next:

The Sabres return to KeyBank Center on Saturday night for a matchup with the red-hot New York Islanders on "70's Night", as part of the promotional celebrations for the team's 50th season in the National Hockey League. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. with the Paul William Beltz Pre-Game Show starting at 6 p.m. with Brian Koziol on WGR.

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